To listen click here
Sep 14 – Ranil Wickremesinghe, the president of Sri Lanka, asked Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, on Wednesday if she intended to head the opposition alliance, INDIA, in the Lok Sabha elections slated for early in 2019.
The chief minister of West Bengal is visiting Dubai and Spain for 12 days. Banerjee stopped in Dubai while en route to Madrid for an official visit where she hoped to cultivate commercial relationships and bring together partners in the publishing and football industries.
She reportedly invited Wickremesinghe to the state business summit in November after meeting him at the Dubai International Airport.
The chief minister was seen engaging with Wickremesinghe in a video that PTI broadcast when the latter questioned if she would be in charge of the opposition coalition (INDIA).
‘Can I ask you one question?’ Wickremesinghe said and after getting an affirmative reply from Banerjee he asked, “Are you going to lead the opposition alliance”.
The Trinamool Congress leader exclaimed, “Oh my god!” after being startled by the unexpected question and adding, “It depends on people.”
Unhappy with her response, Wickremesinghe chuckles and asks someone in the room, “Is she going to lead the opposition alliance?”
She quips, “The opposition may be in position (power) also.”
On X, formerly Twitter, the chief minister also wrote about her encounter with Wickremesinghe. She claimed that Wickremesinghe called her to “join for some discussion” after spotting her in the airport lounge. Banerjee allegedly gave the President one of her original paintings during their encounter in the airport lounge.
His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe saw me at the Dubai International Airport Lounge and called me to join for some discussion. I have been humbled by his greetings and (have) invited him to the Bengal Global Business Summit 2023 in Kolkata,” she posted on X.
“HE the President of Sri Lanka extended a cordial invitation to me to visit Sri Lanka. It was a pleasant interaction with deep implications,” she added.
The Bengal Global Business Summit is slated to take place in Kolkata on November 21 and 22.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar’s home in New Delhi is the location of a meeting of the INDIA alliance’s coordination and election strategy committee, which is expected to discuss seat sharing and the unified campaign strategy for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
The meeting is planned to be attended by K C Venugopal (Congress), T R Baalu (DMK), Hemant Soren (JMM), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena – UBT), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Raghav Chaddha (AAP), Javed Ali Khan (SP), Lallan Singh (JD-U), D Raja (CPI), Omar Abdullah (NC), and Mehbooba Mufti (PDP).
Additionally, the TMC has made the decision not to send any representatives to the meeting. TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee was called by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today for questioning while Banerjee is away.